1. China Cedes Top LNG Buyer Spot to Japan Amid Weak Demand
- China’s LNG imports in 2022 are on track to record their first major decline since 2006, as high spot prices and weak domestic demand coming from the manufacturing sector cooled down purchasing activity.
- Whilst China’s appetite for LNG was primarily coming from the government’s willingness to switch away from coal, Beijing has now come full circle and has been maximizing coal output, environmental concerns notwithstanding.
- Piped natural gas from Russia and Turkmenistan, cheaper because of oil pegs, has also been squeezing out LNG imports, with China expected to reach full capacity at the Power of Siberia pipeline by 2025.
- China’s May imports of LNG are set to total 4.7 million tons LNG, more than 2 million tons lower year-on-year, with the United States and Australia seeing the largest drops in buying.
2. US Return to Pre-Pandemic Crude Production in 2023
- Even though Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created ideal conditions for oil companies to ramp up production, prospects for incremental US shale growth have not changed whatsoever.
- According to an average of five major forecasters, US crude output will grow 900,000 b/d this year and is set to reach pre-pandemic levels only by mid-2023, with next year also seeing a relatively modest 800,000 b/d year-on-year increase.
- Platts argues that now, when publicly traded…